Willem de Kooning - Evening Editions New York Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Lanier Graham 38

  • Catalogue Essay

    It was not until he returned from his trip to Japan that he responded to do a body of lithographs. Perhaps the seeing and feeling of calligraphy, sumi brush painting and Zen inspired him to sufficiently to do prints. Whatever, the results were beautiful… We worked for a year together in 1970 and 1971, proofing thirty-eight images, of which twenty-four were editioned. Irwin Hollander, Tamarind Papers 8, 1985, p. 34.
    De Kooning gave this work to Concetta Moltisanti Fabrizio who was a fulltime East Hampton resident and owner-waitress with her Moltisanti parents and brother of North Main Street Luncheonette & Ice Cream on North Main Street, East Hampton (established 1946). In 1971, de Kooning had been a regular at the luncheonette, biking there from his home and studio in the Springs, to take many of his meals. When after a time he did not appear, Concetta grew worried and drove to his studio with plates of lasagna, ziti and spumoni (his favorite). De Kooning had been working intensely and had not been taking the time to eat or bike to the luncheonette. He enjoyed Concetta’s company and would ask her to sit there and she would watch him work. On that day told her to go into a drawer and take whatever she wanted.

  • Artist Biography

    Willem de Kooning

    American • 1904 - 1997

    Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Willem de Kooning moved to the United States in his early 20s, arriving in Manhattan by 1927. A founding member of the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York, de Kooning was a contemporary of Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and of course his wife, Elaine de Kooning. Having claimed that “flesh is the reason why oil painting was invented,” de Kooning is best known for his rapid, forceful brushwork and thickly impastoed paint in evoking the human body, even as some of his contemporaries moved towards pure abstraction. Like the other New York School painters, de Kooning was a proponent of “Action Painting,” which emphasized the physical aspect of the work, eschewing the idea that painting was necessarily a careful, precise art form.

    By the 1960s, the artist was living and working in East Hampton, where he managed to breathe new life into his work after decades in an urban environment and remained there until his death in 1997 at the age of 92. De Kooning’s works reside in leading institutions worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., Tate, London, and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

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Untitled (Bather I)

Lithograph, on Akawara paper, with full margins,
I. 23 1/2 x 31 1/2 in. (59.7 x 80 cm);
S. 27 3/4 x 39 1/2 in. (70.5 x 100.3 cm)

signed, annotated ‘T.P.’ and inscribed ‘to Concetta with love’ in pencil, one of only 3 or 4 proofs (there was no published edition), occasional surface soiling, minor creasing and pale foxing (primarily in the margins), pale mat staining, a small paper loss at lower right corner, a crease at lower left sheet corner, otherwise in good condition, framed.

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $17,500

Evening Editions

21 April 2011
New York